Chrystia Freeland turns again time for pandemic price range options

Politics Insider for Sept. 16: The brand new FinMin talks ‘quite a bit’ to an previous FinMin from the 90s, People lay down their arms in a commerce conflict and Leslyn Lewis finds her seat


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Again to the long run: Chrystia Freeland, the finance minister whose job is to take the reins from a spent Invoice Morneau and chart a fiscal path ahead for Canada, has rewound the clock almost 20 years. Freeland instructed reporters yesterday that she’s consulted a former prime minister whose resume is replete with a deficit-slashing run as finance minister. That’d be Paul Martin, an architect of austerity who is aware of a factor or two about going through down budgetary strain. The 2 are speaking “a lot,” FinMin to FinMin.

Farewell to the Liberals’ easy green revolution: After some bold discuss of “constructing again higher,” the feds look like tacking gently rightward on the heels of a dialog between Freeland and Canadian financial institution heads. Freeland extolled Canada’s well-worn rep for “clever and prudent fiscal administration.” Paul Wells, writing in Maclean’s, finds clues about Liberal pandemic policymaking in a speech former Trudeau confidant Gerry Butts delivered on the digital Restoration Summit (watch that here). Butts cautioned in opposition to any urge to make use of the pandemic as an excuse for pet coverage initiatives that obtain pre-ordained targets divorced from issues individuals are having in the actual world. Writes Wells:


Liberals are coming to phrases with the conclusion that COVID-19 didn’t cancel gravity or smite the foes of progress, as they outline progress, from the earth. When Parliament returns subsequent week, it would nonetheless be a venue of measurable private danger for its occupants, like all massive room for the foreseeable future. It should nonetheless comprise extra MPs who aren’t Liberals than MPs who’re. Will probably be watched by a inhabitants that’s apprehensive, defensive, and incapable of ignoring danger for the sake of a convincing slogan. It speaks nicely of the Liberals that they’ve spent the summer season working some goofy rhetoric out of their methods earlier than returning to the actual world.

The finance minister additionally reacted to the eleventh-hour choice south of the border to stop the slapping of tariffs on imported Canadian aluminum. Simply as Canada was set to retaliate, U.S. Commerce Consultant Robert Lighthizer revealed a statement that walked again the American place—ostensibly based mostly on a revelation that imports have been “more likely to normalize” after surges earlier in 2020. Lighthizer maintained the spectre of punitive motion down the street, if imports jumped past a sure tonnage. Freeland, who’s nonetheless cupboard’s level particular person on Canada-U.S. affairs, made her position clear. “This isn’t a negotiated deal…we’ve not agreed to something.”

Seems Justin Trudeau wasn’t mendacity when he mentioned his authorities was “partaking” with the opposition on “a number of ranges.” He simply forgot to make use of the long run tense. A spokesperson told reporters the PM would converse to all celebration leaders by the tip of the week, throughout which the primary order of enterprise might be Throne Speech advocacy—and, presumably, some toing and froing on the arrogance vote to observe within the Home of Commons subsequent week.


Why is Patty Hajdu still the minister of health? Canada’s well being minister is going through some warmth for her early dealing with of the worldwide pandemic. Hajdu continues to cautiously defend China’s conduct within the early days, she was by no means briefed on a made-in-Canada early warning system that had fallen largely into disuse, and as American intelligence appeared to catch on to the hazards of COVID-19 within the early months of 2020, Canada appeared ill-prepared. Andrew MacDougall, writing in Maclean’s, says all of it provides as much as failure. And the well being minister must reply for her shortcomings.

Wouldn’t it be insanity to vary horses within the midst of a raging world pandemic? Certain, however Trudeau already has kind. If the Prime Minister can fireplace his finance minister within the midst of a deep world recession over ‘coverage variations’ (wink wink cough), he can simply swap well being ministers throughout a world pandemic. So guess what, Patty Hadju: You’re all set to be “Canada’s Candidate” as director-general of the World Well being Group.

One of many enduring directions of the pandemic is: don’t go to work if you happen to’re sick. Early this month, a Parliamentary Protecting Service worker failed that test. On Sept. 2, they skilled coronavirus signs and obtained examined the subsequent day. On Sept. eight, they went about their enterprise in and across the Hill. Their check got here again constructive, and so they knowledgeable their employer on Sept. 10. Contact tracers discovered 19 people who had been close to them within the interim.


Leslyn Lewis has discovered her seat. The upstart third-place finisher on this summer season’s Tory management race has her eyes on Haldimand-Norfolk, a southwestern Ontario driving that was final Liberal earlier than the 2004 election. Diane Finley has held the district since 2004 and isn’t looking for reelection. Earlier than she dropped off, Lewis gained greater than 50 per cent of the driving’s management votes on the second poll final August.

He nailed it: Philippe J. Fournier, the 338Canada polling analyst and Maclean’s contributing editor, predicted all but two seats within the New Brunswick election. Subsequent up, Saskatchewan. And if you happen to’re on the hunt for a U.S. election oracle, Fournier additionally has his eye stateside. In case you need to win a wager.